Skip to main content

Leaf Pack Experiment

Activity Summary
Leaf decomposition is an important source of food for many macroinvertebrates and thus a building block of life in aquatic systems. The leaf pack experiment activity is a three part activity that spans several months. Students begin by examining the scientific method and then make and place a leaf pack into a local aquatic ecosystem (pond, stream, creek, etc) where it will
stay for 1-3 months. Upon removal the pack can be used to assess decomposition rates, macroinvertebrate communities and health of an aquatic ecosystem.

Grade Levels

Learning Objectives
1. List the steps of the scientific method
2. Make a hypothesis and determine its accuracy upon completion of the experiment
3. Explain the importance of a leaf pack in environmental monitoring
4. Analyze and display data
5. Explain the process of leaf decomposition in an aquatic environment
6. Identify aquatic macroinvertebrates using a dichotomous key
7. Define and use the biotic index to determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem

Lesson Materials (view or download)
PowerPoint Day 1
PowerPoint Day 2
PowerPoint Day 3
Lesson Plans

water quality, decomposition, aquatic environment, scientific Method

Last updated: 6/16/2015